|Statement by the Chinese Delegation at the Third Committee of the 69th Session of General Assembly on Agenda Item:Rights of the Children|
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Over the past 25 years, inspired and prompted by the Convention, countries have established legislations, mechanisms and policies to push for the realization of children's rights, including the rights to life and development. As the Secretary-General stated in his report on the status of the Convention, it is encouraging to note the remarkable progress on the question of children for the past quarter century. But at the same time, faced with ever grim challenges to the rights of the child, the international community stills has a long way to go in the protection of children.
1. Efforts to achieve children's rights are confronted with such traditional challenges as war, poverty and disease. In many parts of the world, these challenges have made it difficult to realize children' rights to life and development, even more so for disabled children and children belonging to ethnic minority groups and other vulnerable groups. In terms of their right to protection, millions of children are still subjected to child labour, mistreatment, sexual abuse and exploitation, neglect and other forms of violence. Economic and cultural factors, discriminatory attitudes and conventional practices have made it extremely difficult for children to realize their right to participation. Children also bear the brunt of the impact of economic crises and natural disasters.
Take, for example, the effect of poverty on children. According to the statistics of the World Bank for 2010, there are still 568 million children living in extreme poverty. Poverty endangers the realization of a host of important rights of the child, including that to survival, development and education. It not only affects directly the physical health and growth of children, but also entails long term devastating implications for children's psychological health, and even perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
2. New technologies like the internet have brought new challenges as well as new opportunities to the protection of children’s rights. The rapid development of ICT has changed the life of mankind, including that of children, and brought new opportunities for the realization of the rights of the child. With it, children have easier access to information from various sources, and even those in vulnerable situations, like girl child and disabled child, can benefit from the internet as a means to acquire information. At the same time, the internet age has also presented new problems and challenges to the protection of children. Aided by technological advances, cyber child pornography and other crimes that violate children's rights are on the rise; and cyber addiction and harmful information available online jeopardize the physical and mental health of children. The Chinese delegation takes note of the recent discussion on this issue in the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the concern on this issue from the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against and Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. And we are ready to explore with others ways to address the new challenges to child protection posed by new technologies like the internet.
3. Achieving the rights of the child calls for the combination of national efforts and international cooperation. National governments bear the primary responsibility in tackling various emerging challenges. In the view of the Chinese delegation, countries should scale up efforts at the national level. They must continue to increase attention and input to the protection of children's rights, engage in cross-sectoral coordination and work out integrated plans for the development of children. They must take comprehensive measures involving legislative, administrative and judicial aspects to resolutely combat crimes, including violent crimes against children.
At the international level, capitalizing on the 25th anniversary of the Convention, the international community should enhance cooperation in eliminating the root causes of violations of children's rights. In particular, we must work together to maintain world peace and stability, so that children will be spared the scourge of war. In addition, we must promote the economic development of the developing countries, strive to reduce poverty, and help them with capacity building in the protection and advancement of children's rights. We urge the developed countries to provide technical and financial assistance to the developing countries. The Chinese government supports the UN in continuing to play an important role in promoting international cooperation for the promotion and protection of children's rights, and supports the due role of the civil society in this respect.
The Chinese government has always taken the advancement and protection of children's rights as its basic national policy. It has developed the “Outline for the Development of Chinese Children 2011-2020” and is working hard to implement the goals and indicators contained therein. We have continuously improved our legislation in this field, including amending the Criminal Procedure Law by adding a chapter on criminal procedure for crimes involving minors. Various steps have been taken to improve healthcare for children and ensure children's right to education. We have firmly cracked down on criminal violations of children’s rights while providing legal assistance to children. We have carried out campaigns to raise public awareness of the laws on children's rights in families, schools, and the whole society including children themselves, so that they are cognizant of their responsibilities and better able to enhance the protection of children’s rights.
Protection of the rights of children is a continuous mission without an end date. The Chinese government will continue working with all parties, making a positive contribution to protect and promote the rights of children around the world.
Thank you, Madam Chair.